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Optical observations, diversions and demonstrations. Explore how we’ve studied and played with light.
Multiplying spectacles, 1650
Multiplying spectacles, consisting of a pair of rock crystal 'lenses', each with 24 facets, in a gilt metal frame, 17th-18th century.
Photoelasticity model showing "frozen stresses"
Photoelasticity model showing "frozen stresses"
"Alexanders Graphic Mirror" (c.1830), Wollaston-ty
"Alexanders Graphic Mirror" (c.1830), Wollaston-type (mirror instead of a prism); signed ALEX T ALEXANDER OPTICIAN TO THE KING EXETER
NHS issue bifocal spectacles
One pair of bifocal spectacles, National Health Service issue, with lens cloth and optician's advice note, in brown case, Beer & Wigmore, Slough, Buckinghamshire, England, 1972
Display board of spectacles and lenses, c.1921
Collection of spectacles (289), spectacle lenses (93) mounted on pyramid fitting, with labels attached as detailed on list "the evolution of the Bi-focal lens" (neg nos S.M. 2007) may be sold to the public, see R.P. 24/599, dr. Van Rohr. See individual stroke records for more details.
Sighting telescope for Maxim machine gun
Detached gun sight for German Maxim machine guns, model ZF12 (Zielfernrohr 12), Serial No.12699, by Emil Busch, A.G., Rathenow, Germany, 1912-1918.
Model of a Penrose staircase
'A model of a Penrose staircase' by May and Baker Ltd., Dagenham, Greater London, England, 1968
Demonstration artificial eye
Life-sized demonstration artificial eye, comprising a sphere, half-frosted glass and half brass, with a replica iris and lense fitted, unsigned, Europe, 1850-1900
Prismatic binoculars, sectioned, by Ross of London
Prismatic binoculars, sectioned, by Ross of London, England, 1945-1951. Exhibited at the Festival of Britain.
Spyglass hand telescope with brass body and braide
Spyglass hand telescope with brass body and braided string grip on tube, by Jesse Ramsden, London, England, 1762-1800.
Six Barton's buttons, (speculum metal ruled with a
six Barton's buttons, (speculum metal ruled with a diffraction grating pattern), made by John Barton, London, c. 1830, in red leather box, marked No 11, lined with velvet and silk. diameter of buttons, minimum to maximum size is 20-23 mm
Ultraviolet spectroscope marked 'R & J . BECK . LT
Ultraviolet spectroscope marked 'R & J . BECK . LTD. / LONDON / PATENT APPD FOR', 'ULTRA VIOLET SPECTROSCOPE / 1 Div = 100 Å.U.' and 'R.C.S. / Ast Phys Lab / 301' plus a monogram of the letters ICST, with instruction card in velvet-lined leathercloth covered case, (rubber eyeshade perished and broken).
Naturalist's telescope by William Cary, London, 7
Naturalist's telescope by William Cary, London, 7 draws of which second is engraved " Adjusting Tube", with lens cap and wood auger in case stamped twice "J.B.".
Extra glass prism, for tripod stand mounted camera obscura
Extra prism for camera obscura in tripod stand
Claude Lorrain mirror
Claude Lorrain Mirror (Wellcome transfer no.B1640), oval, in red leather-covered case
FT37 rangefinder, one of two, by Barr and Stroud
FT37 rangefinder, one of two, by Barr and Stroud Ltd., Glasgow, serial no. 5608, 1939-1945
Becquerel phosphoroscope, signed Jules Duboscq a Paris, c. 1870.
Polemoscope or 'Jealousy Glass', small telescope,
Polemoscope or 'Jealousy Glass', small telescope, horn with silver ferrule, with screw focussing, diagonal mirror in fishskin case, by Edward Scarlett (?), c. 1730
Newton's rings demonstration apparatus
Newton's rings demonstration apparatus by J. Duboscq, Paris, France, c.1880. on yoked pillar stand
Tourmaline Tongs (c.1860). Two tourmalines mounted
Tourmaline Tongs (c.1860). Two tourmalines mounted in cells on a wire holder, used for testing spectacles
Avo Exposure meter model 1, made by the Automatic
Avo Exposure meter model 1, made by the Automatic Coil Winder and Eletrical Equipment Co. Ltd., Winder House, Douglas Street, SW1.
Claude Lorrain mirror, rectangular of black glass
Claude Lorrain mirror, rectangular of black glass in leather-covered case (7" x 6")
Pair of steel wire framed protective goggles
Pair of steel wire framed protective goggles, without glass, fitted with wire mesh side panels, felt padding and loop arms, unsigned, English, 1838-1850. Supplied by C. W. Dixey and Son, London, England.
Glass Schumann type plate negative, for Quartz spectrograph (E.31)
Glass schumann type plate negative, in annotated envelope, unsigned, for Quartz spectrograph (E.31) by Adam Hilger Limited, London, 1932
Prospect glass, shagreen covered leather 1-draw tu
Prospect glass, shagreen covered leather 1-draw tube, with brass lens mounts, 1751-1775 (unsigned) (B751)
English pivot folding eyeglasses, with round lense
English pivot folding eyeglasses, with round lenses and blued steel frame, c. 1880 (frame only).
Prismatic binocular no.2 Mk.III Serial no.289359,
Prismatic binocular no.2 Mk.III Serial no.289359, 6x30, made by Taylor-Hobson in 1943, with original webbing strap (in case which is not original and not matched to binocular). (Graticule removed from eyepiece)
Brass dynameter, Troughton & Simms, London, 1790-1
Brass dynameter, Troughton & Simms, London, 1790-1890
Wollaston type camera lucida with Ross lenses
Wollaston type camera lucida with Ross lenses, made by Francis West of 83 Fleet Street, London, England, c. 1851-1900.
Gould pocket microscope by Cary
Gould pocket microscope by Cary (unsigned), London, England, c. 1830. Designed by Charles Gould, employee of William Cary c. 1810. First made in the Cary workshop 1828.
Prism on adjustable brass stand by W. & S. Jones,
Prism on adjustable brass stand by W. & S. Jones, 30 Holborn, C1802 A125024
Photo lens, Taylor, Taylor and Hobson, Brooke Avia
Photo lens, Taylor, Taylor and Hobson, Brooke Aviar, 10 1/4 focal length no72641 4.5
Large prism binocular telescope by Carl Zeiss (a s
Large prism binocular telescope by Carl Zeiss (a stereo-binocular) magnification X10; field 5 degrees, No.16486
Military sighting telescope.
Brass military sighting telescope (machine gun?), made by W. Ottway & Co. Ltd, Ealing, London and supplied by Vickers Limited, England, 1916.
Fibrox cold light source and Fibrescope no.5092, m
Fibrox cold light source and Fibrescope no.5092, made by Rank Taylor Hobson, Leicester
Iceland spar, cut in three directions - perpendicu
Iceland spar, cut in three directions - perpendicular, parallel, and oblique to the axis, by L. Laurent, Paris, France, 1876. Greatest measurement 2 1/2-inches. Inside glass dome fixed to wooden base. (Displayed with original label.)
Reading Diffraction Spectroscope by R. & J. Beck L
Reading Diffraction Spectroscope by R. & J. Beck Ltd, in wooden case, probable date 1960-1969.
Ophthalmic lens blank in Reactolite Rapide photochromic glass
Ophthalmic lens blank in Reactolite Rapide photochromic glass, green pretint, type RGX3, transmittance 70% to 16%, by Chance-Pilkington, St Asaph, Denbighshire, Wales, United Kingdom, 1986-1987
Spectacles with small thick oval lenses
Metal spectacles with small thick oval lenses, as suggested by Sir Isaac Newton, and single piece side-arms.
Polycentral Kaleidoscope, 1880-1900
Kaleidoscope, polycentral kaleidoscope, cardboard tube with floral pattern on outside, with three mirrors inclined at 60°, 1880-1900
Spectacle frame, graduated colour cellulose acetate
Spectacle frame, graduated colour cellulose acetate, designed by Saphira, unsigned, Europe, 1973-1979
Kershaw 'Vanguard' 10x50 Prismatic binocular no 71193
Kershaw 'Vanguard' 10x50 Prismatic binocular no.71193, with leather strap, made in England, coated lenses, in leather case
Red leather case for single opera glass
Red leather case for single opera glass, conical shape with blunt end, button catch and lined with red velvet, John Tuther, 221Holborn, London, 1822
Industrial safety spectacles, BS 2092.2, by Combin
Industrial safety spectacles, BS 2092.2, by Combined Optical Instruments Ltd., Slough, England, 1970-1980. Can be worn over ordinary spectacles
Onyx black mirror
Black mirror (soothsayer's magic mirror?) made of onyx in 3 strata, in oval leather case, formerly in the Hamilton Palace collection, (B1632), 1701-1800
Stereoscope by Jules Duboscq, with adjustment for
Stereoscope by Jules Duboscq, with adjustment for eye-distance, sold by Carpenter and Westley
Zeiss 7x50 binocular with Porro-II prisms and coat
Zeiss 7x50 binocular with Porro-II prisms and coated optics, waterproofed model for submarine use, engraved "7x50/54253/blc" under right hand rubber cover
Polariscope lens, for Elbow projection polariscope, by Newton & Co., Fleet Street, London, England, 1890-1900